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"Mid-Term Break" by Seamus Heaney - review

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Mid-Term Break "Mid-Term Break" by Seamus Heaney is a very powerful and tear-jerking poem. The effect the poem had on me was that it was very touching and moving. I will be discussing about how the poet's use of devices such as structure, word choice, imagery and sound had an impact on me. The poem is about a tragic car accident that took the life of a little boy. His brother, who narrates the poem, is away at college and sees his younger brother for the first time in six weeks but also for the very last time. The death of his brother happened in an instant and was a shock to the whole family. It also deals with the experiences they go through. The title of the poem had an impact upon me. The title "Mid-term Break" suggests a holiday from school or from work. Something which is supposed to be exciting and fun but this "Break" does not happen for pleasant reasons. It is actually about the death of a younger brother and the break of a family. ...read more.


The image of the father crying shows how he is dealing with the death. He was much close to the young boy than the older brother was, because the father had been there with the boy and saw him everyday, making their relationship closer than the relationship between the young boy and his older brother. Heaney uses dashes to give extra information to make the image clearer in the reader's mind but Heaney has still controlled the information given since we still do not what has exactly happened. But from the information given in this stanza we can sort of guess now, that someone really close to the father must have died since he never usually cried at funerals. "Big Jim Evans" who is probably the family's close friend's metaphorically saying "it was a hard blow". A "hard blow" could have meant that literally the car knocked the young boy very far or the family had a "hard blow" meaning it was very difficult for the family with this tragic death. ...read more.


"Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, he lay in the four foot box as in his cot". Heaney is just describing how the little boy looked. As the reader you feel that the older brother is finally going to show some emotions. By using the word "soothed" it makes the tone of the poem much more unemotional than the previous stanzas. The reader would expect the older brother to begin crying even lashing out in anger because he has lost his little brother. In this essay I have discussed how this poem had an impact on me through the poet's use of devices such as structure, word choice, imagery and sound added to the impact of the poem. The author has shown how death is sudden and can affect people in a different way. Heaney used tone and imagery to show how the family is dealing with the death of their family member. He used these devices to help create an image in the reader's mind of a sudden and tragic death and how everyone reacts to death differently. Word count= 1,138 ...read more.

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